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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A CT cardiac score is a painless, easy way to check your risk for having a heart attack in the next 5 to 10 years.

The test uses CT imaging to look at your heart and the vessels. It allows you see how much if you have any calcium in those vessels. A Coronary Calcium Scoring allows your doctor to see heart problems before you notice symptoms.

Nurses will first get your health background. You’re then put in what looks to be a very intimidating scan.

Patients are fitted with leads for a heart monitor so technicians can monitor your heart rate. That makes it possible to record CT scans when the heart is not actively contracting. It gives doctors a much clearer picture.

Once that’s complete, there’s a test run and the real scan takes place. It only lasts for about two minutes.

And when the scan is over, there’s no pain. It’s just a clearer picture of what’s happening in the most important part of your body.

Radiologists and Cardiologists then read the scan to let you know the risk of having a heart attack in the next 5 to 10 years. The CT Cardia Score typically costs about two hundred dollars and often is not covered by insurance.